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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 17:26 UK

Egypt tycoon held for Tamim death

Suzanne Tamim
Suzanne Tamim rose to fame after appearing on a Lebanese talent show

Egyptian tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa has been arrested and charged over the brutal murder of Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim, legal officials say

Mr Moustafa was charged with ordering and paying for Tamim's killing in Dubai in July, Egyptian prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud said in a statement.

Billionaire property developer Mr Moustafa is also a leading figure in the ruling National Democratic Party.

He sits on the Shura Council, Egypt's upper legislative house.

The indictment says Mr Moustafa paid former police officer Muhsin Sukkari $2m to kill Ms Tamim, adding that the motive was revenge.

The Egyptian prosecutor said Mr Sukkari - who was arrested last month - had confessed to Mr Mustafa's involvement in the case.

Bitter legal battles

Shares in Talaat Moustafa Group, one of Egypt's biggest businesses which is managed by Mr Moustafa, fell sharply as rumours of the indictment began to circulate.

Hisham Talat Mustafa (photograph coutesy of Shoura Council website)
Hisham Talat Mustafa is one of Egypt's richest and most powerful men
Egyptian prosecutors had banned media reports on the case, which has caused intense interest in Egypt and further afield.

The state news agency said Mr Moustafa had now been stripped of his parliamentary immunity. He and Mr Sukkari could face the death penalty if convicted.

Egyptian media has reported that Ms Tamim had a three-year relationship with Mr Moustafa which ended several months ago.

She rose to fame after appearing on a TV talent show in Lebanon in 1996, but her career was marred by stories about a troubled private life.

She was reported to have fled Lebanon for Egypt some years ago after a number of bitter legal battles with her estranged second husband, music producer Adel Maatouk.

Ms Tamim gave up her career and disappeared from public view in Cairo in 2007.

Her body was found at a flat she owned in Dubai, after she had been repeatedly stabbed and her throat slit, forensic officials said.




SEE ALSO
Arrest over Lebanese singer death
10 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Lebanese singer 'killed in Dubai'
30 Jul 08 |  Middle East


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